Demand for Reserve flight nurses remains ongoing priority

by Jake Chappelle
446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs (AFRC)

1/23/2015 - MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- Aside from eight of McChord's C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes being slated to inactive status a result of a U.S. defense budget mandate, the need for Air Force Reserve flight nurses is still a main concern.

With roughly 90 percent of military aeromedical evacuation missions supported by Reserve and Air National Guard medical crews, recruiters from Air Force Reserve Command fluttered their eyes in the pursuit of appointing professionals for such a specialized career field.

Senior Master Sgt. Ruben Uscanga, AFRC Western Region Recruiting Service, Health Professions flight chief, out of March Air Reserve Base, California, oversees the hiring of Reserve medical personnel at McChord Field. He said one of the reasons why the profession is continuously sought after is because of the mandatory qualifications that need to be fulfilled to stay certified.

"There's always a demand for flight nurses," he said. "Sometimes units' manning needs may change, but flight nurses have to maintain certain requirements throughout the year. Getting the training can take time."

Most of these requirements are met through in-flight training and real-world missions. McChord Field's flying medical specialists serve in the 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, and they ensure training flights are planned every Reserve weekend.

Occasionally, they coordinate missions during the week for Reservists whose schedules don't always accommodate. Jan. 21 they hosted a few local media reps to demonstrate how they provide care for wounded, injured, and ill service members at 30,000 feet, and why the health professions are so essential to the defense mission.

Questions or additional information about Air Force Reserve aeromedical operations or about specific Health Professions careers in the Reserve can be directed to:

  • AFRC Public Affairs
    255 Richard Ray Blvd
    Bldg 220
    Robins AFB, GA 31098-1815

  • AF Reserve Recruiting Service
    180 Page Road, Bldg 208
    Robins AFB, GA 31098-1815